As an illustrator, telling a story is always a difficult thing to do. This frustration can be delt with in many ways, for example with comics, but the challenge is substantial. And how hard is it to share a whole story with only one picture, all the more so if this story is complex. However, some illustrators aren’t afraid of trying to do so, and it is the case of the artwork we are studying today. Hello everyone, and welcome to the « Museum d’Entretoile », the show in which I dissect tricks and knacks used by artists in order to show off their imaginary worlds. Today, we’re going to talk about narration, stories hidden in images, and thus through an artwork made by Anna Pazyniuk (anndr), a ukrainian freelance artist who posted her artwork, soberly named « Nope », on DeviantArt on the 8th of November 2016. The artwork represents an interaction between two characters in the wilderness, near a medieval city perched on a cliff. We can easily guess the noble status of the woman wearing a great red dress, as well as the race of the gentleman accompanying her, since he is an elf. The lady seems to be declining an invitation from the elf, who wants to help her climbing up the hill. There is a fantastic and magical atmosphere coming out of this artwork, making us directly fall into this universe. Although this artwork is pretty efficient, putting it back into its creation context is all the more interesting. Anna Pazyniuk is an extremely skilled artist, and for that matter I advise you to go and take a look at her productions, making us directly dive into a different imaginary world with each of her artwork. I, by the way, thank her profusely for giving me additional keys in order to pinpoint her art. The artwork represents two characters : Beloilen and Ilmar. Beloilen, the lady, declines Ilmar’s help because she does not want to let the elf make such an impression on her. Here, the artwork’s goal is to show us these two characters’ personalities in a typical scene : on one hand, Beloilen, a strong and independent woman, called by the illustrator herself a « Tsundere », such as these japanese female characters who first appear cold and haughty, hiding a sure sensitiveness. On the other hand, Ilmar, a gypsie-elf-asassin. An alchemy is built between these two characters, which makes us understand the relationship underlying between them at first glimpse. This artwork is in fact a fantasy-steampunk novel called « Right to Decry » ’s illustration, a novel written by the illustrator herself whenshe was in highschool. Ilmar and Beloilen’s story, sent by a queen to find the Tergeryl-Tar, a magic coin, which was created by some dark god. She recently rewrote it, making her creation look less like a fanfiction, making the plot smarter and consequently modifying her characters. It is not the only illustration the artist made for her novel, these characters being recurring in her oeuvre. Some of these illustrations are already 15 years-old, it is a universe she really cares about, a recurring imaginaryworld which takes form into her different artworks. So, how did she proceed ? This ability the illustrator has to make the image “speak” is founded upon several elements, yet I think that it’s in the composition itself that she succeeds the most at transposing this idea. The image is divided into two layers: the main action and the background. The division is superbly defined, which increases the readability of the artwork. The foreground tells the story of the characters, the ongoing action, while the background shows the world, the context in which this action takes place. Action and description, the readability of the artwork is perfectly mastered. While the structure allows to perfectly understand the action, the use of colors sets an ambiance, radiates a true feeling from within the art. The dominant colors are blue, for the water and the sky, obviously, but also, and mainly, green and yellow. An alloy of colors that immediately evocates fallen leaves and thus… An autumnal atmosphere. Feeling reinforced by the red-ish tints that are scattered around the artwork. The characters’s color helps them to stand out, as for the bright red of Beloilen’s dress. This skilful distribution of color accentuates the action elements and sets a true context and feeling to the story. An atmosphere furthermore reinforced by the reference that emphasizes the drawing: reference to fairy tales, to tale-like fantasy. From Beloilen’s noble dress to the presence of a castle, by this enchanting landscape, everything seems to converge towards this style, full of magic and supernatural. It’s even the same thing with the use of water: the waterfall, the glimmering lake, enchanting dimension isn’t to be hidden. The genre is implied, and that’s why, by the way, Ilmar is so easily identified as an elf: the magical ambiance that reigns in this artwork guides the watcher’s reading. There is an use of the codes of a precise genre that allows to project a fantasy interpretative framework upon the artwork. The lights also play a significative role, if not the most important one, in the efficiency of this artwork. The castle illuminated by the sun, which is by the way visible in the image, adds to this enchanting atmosphere. But what really gives the artwork all this magical, even unreal, dimension, is the presence of all these sparkling particles. The lighting directly catches the reader’s sight by literally making the drawing shine. We can add to this all the style used on the drawing itself: a slightly blurry effect, that makes the sparkling and lighting stand out even more. Also, this slightly blurry aspect gives to this detail-heavy artwork a real touch of simplicity. The most explicit exemple resides in the faces of the characters, reduced to a minimum: eyes and mouths. Beloilen and Iltar are trully defined by their gestures, and this effect works perfectly. The same goes for the scenery, that blur reinforcing the mirage and unreal atmosphere that the lighting already sets. Through this artwork, testimony of an artist’s expert composition skill, we have been able to observe the evocating power of an illustration. It is perfectly possible to tell a story with a single image, and without even having it to be riddled with details, which would drown its efficiency. This expert mix of simplicity and pictural skill tells by itself the story of a world, of characters, of a relationship, of an ambiance. If artworks are so evocative, evenmore those that take place in fictional worlds, so strongly adventure-appealing, it’s often because their creator lets them radiates with their stories, their universe. The artwork is more than a simple image, it’s a door open on an artistic universe. Thank you for watching this third analysis until its end. I know there are a lot of illustrators among you all, and especially among those that follow this one show. I thought it was relevant to tell you about an artwork that tells a story, to inspire those of you that would have scenaristic ambitions. Thanks again to Anna for the exchange we had, and which was essential in the creation of this episode. I’m encouraging you to give me feedback in the comments, and to like the video which is always helping its referencing, to share it or even, why not, subscribe. See you soon, and don’t forget, as usual, to stay observant.